Image © Nettwerk 2005
Image © Nettwerk 2004
Photo © Eric Macklin 2004
(courtesy Trespassers William website)
(10 December 2005) Trespassers William are a sensational trio hailing from Orange County, California. Their third album, Having (Nettwerk (USA), 2006) is forthcoming in February 2006 at this writing. Although one would not instantly associate Trespassers William's gauzy, neo-folk sound with the OC, there is definitely something of the ocean and the hills in this music--and something late-night, dreamy, and somnambulistic about it as well. Although comparisons to Mazzy Star, Cowboy Junkies and Sarah McLachlan are inevitable (and reasonably accurate), Trespassers William have definitely harnessed something uniquely mysterious and gorgeous in their music.
During more than eight years of developing a sound and community, Trespassers William switched several members before forming its current and longest lasting group: Matt Brown, Ross Simonini and vocalist Anna-Lynne Williams. TW came began garnering significant attention after the release of their second album, Different Stars (Nettwerk (USA), 6700 30390 2, 2004) which was originally released only in Europe but later, re-released worldwide. Order Different Stars here.
The group spent two years touring internationally and performed with such acts as Damien Rice, Stereolab and Morrissey. In early 2005, TW began work on their most recent effort, Having with the renowned producer/mixer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Mogwai, Low).
With Having, TW reestablish themselves as songwriters and musicians of the highest calibre. While the trio have retained their signature style, the songs on Having display a heightened assuredness, maturity and willingness to explore the bounds of sonic nuance. Trhoughout, Anna-Lynne's voice is in top form and imbued with a paradoxical quality that makes her seem pointedly passionate but observational and removed. Musically, the album blankets the listener in chilly and warm ambience of forlorn rumination.
Tracks like "What of Me" and "My Hand Up" straddle the line between Angelo Badalamenti's 50s influenced Twin Peaks soundtrack work, Love Spirals Downwards acoustic ambience and Cowboy Junkies late-hour quietude. With soft piano chord breaks, reverse guitar effects and subtle firefly percussion, "Weakening" is a softly burning piece of dark romanticism.
"Safe Sound" experiments with a gate effect on Anna-Lynne's voice creating a distinct quavering effect that adds a fresh quality to the acoustic and electric guitar tracks. The ghostly and seductive "And We Lean In" resonates with swirling reverb guitar that drowns the listener in lush beauty as Anna-Lynne's softly insistent voice drips like honey. "Matching Weight" is a bittersweet and lovingly rendered track that unfolds with a sense of inevitable heartbreak.
An impressive and noteworthy effort, Having should appeal to a wide audience looking for music that is quietly bracing and intelligent. Take this album along if
you've ever got to make a long drive through the desert at night. This is the type of music that makes you think and feel.--Justin Elswick in Provo, Utah